IN PICS: ICC World Cup 2019, Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka, Match 7

Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith Malinga starred with the ball as Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 34 runs.

Sri Lanka’s charge was initially slowed when captain Karunaratne was caught by Najibullah Zadran at long on off the bowling of Mohammad Nabi for 30 but there were no signs of the carnage to come. @AFP

Sri Lankan openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera (in picture) settled quickly and grabbed the initiative, putting on 92 for the first wicket for the out-of-form side.

Off-spinner Nabi, who had earlier removed Dimuth Karunaratne, then created panic in the Sri Lankan ranks, taking three wickets in an over. @AFP

Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib won the toss and put Sri Lanka in to bat, hoping to take advantage of the favourable conditions for bowlers in the Welsh capital. But the Afghanistan’s bowlers struggled to stop the flow of runs, with Hassan withdrawn from the attack after conceding 30 runs from just two overs. @AFP

Nabi bowled Lahiru Thirimanne for 25 before having Kusal Mendis caught by Rahmat Shah in the slips for two runs. Angelo Mathews was next to go, for a duck, also caught by Shah. @AFP

Fast bowler Hamid Hassan then had Dhananjaya de Silva caught behind the stumps for nought by Mohammad Shahzad to leave Sri Lanka shell-shocked. @AFP

They were in even deeper trouble when Thisara Perera was run out for two, leaving them 159-6. @AFP

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan joined the party, having opener Kusal Perera caught behind by Shahzad for 78. Rain then intervened, forcing the players from the field, with Sri Lanka 182-8 after Nabi had taken four for 30 in nine overs. @AFP

The rain delay meant the match was reduced to 41 overs a side but Sri Lanka folded quickly after the resumption, losing Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep for the addition of just 19 more runs. @AFP

Chasing 187, Afghanistan were off the blocks in no time as opener Hazratullah Zazai scored at a brisk pace. @AFP

Lasith Malinga then gave Sri Lanka their first breakthrough as he dismissed Mohammad Shahzad in the fifth over for 7. The right-hander failed to time his shot and Dimuth Karunaratne took a catch at the short mid-wicket. @AFP

After Isuru Udana removed Rahmat Shah, Nuwan Pradeep gave Sri Lanka their third wicket as Thisara Perera took a stunning catch running towards his left from the fine-leg to end Zazai’s stay in the middle. @AFP

Sri Lanka did not have to wait for too long to strike again as Pradeep scalped his second wicket. A sharp bouncer caught Hashmatullah Shahidi napping and Kusal Perera completed the catch as the Afghanistan left-hander departed for four. @AFP

After Thisara Perera reduced Afghanistan to 57/5, dismissing Mohammad Nabi in the 14th over, the team was in need of a partnership and captain Gulbadin Naib (23) and Najibullah Zadran (43) chipped in with one as the two started to turn the match again with a sixth-wicket stand of 64. @AFP

Paceman Pradeep though dashed the Afghanistan plans as he struck twice, having Naib lbw before bowling Rashid Khan to leave Afghanistan 123 for seven. @AFP

When Najibullah was run out by a direct hit from Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Afghanistan were all but beaten at nine down. @AFP

Lasith Malinga, with his trademark yorker, disturbed the timber to dismiss Hamid Hassan to seal Sri Lanka’s win. The veteran Sri Lankan pacer scalped three wickets. @AFP

Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith Malinga starred with the ball as Sri Lanka fought back to crush Afghanistan’s hopes of a memorable World Cup victory. @AFP

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